One thing that I’ve managed to prove to myself time and time again in my life is this simple concept:
I’ve learned that if I can get through anything in life, then it’ll make me stronger.
What Doesn’t Kill Me Makes Me Stronger
My first insight into discovering this is looking at the human body. Even though we can observe much illness and disease in the world, we can also observe one single fact – the natural state of the human body is not disease, it is health; whenever a human body becomes diseased, then it’s natural drive and inclination is to repair itself and find health again.
I believe that as much as we feel as individuals that we have a purpose in life and as much as we seek our own fulfillment, so does our own human body. The human body has its own highest image and version of itself that it tries to fulfill constantly even if it slips in and out of our awareness. We all have a certain way that we want to look or feel and you can say that this is the energy of the body trying to tell you what it’s own highest image of itself is.
Think about this:
The last time you scrapped yourself and bled, how did you stop the bleeding and repair the wound?
You don’t know, because the bodily processes that are responsible for this happen under our own conscious awareness. However, just because we can’t understand how such a repair process begins or functions doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, but I can assure you that as long as you are alive, and whatever medical or health condition you have, your body is working to repair itself, fix the damage and return itself back to health regardless of anything else. It doesn’t matter how educated or smart you are. None of those things matter. The only exception would be a chronic illness that works to systemically weaken the body, but even in these examples the body is healing itself by working to prevent the extent of the damage being done while working within its limitations to keep itself as healthy and alive as possible.
I guess we can argue that another big exception exists as well, and these are what I would call environmental factors such as toxins (drugs, alcohol, smoking). A big emphasis should be placed on certain prescription drugs as well as they can cause great imbalance within the body leading to all sorts of health problems. The problem with synthetic drugs is that we are talking about chemical compounds that don’t occur naturally within nature – this means that your body has no idea how to process them, because it’s not something that the cellular memory within the body has ever seen. Even in the presence of these toxins, the body never stops working to return itself to health. Even the individual who is constantly poisoning their body with drugs and alcohol has a body that won’t quit on them. It will keep on fighting until its last breath is taken, all because the body feels the compelling urge to find its own purpose and fulfillment in life.
The Body in Body Building
Years ago I began to understand this when I started to lift weights. It became very apparent to me that after each workout I had, I became bigger, faster and stronger. This meant that after I stressed and damaged my muscles, they were repairing themselves to better handle that kind of sustained stress. The result is that my strength and endurance increased.
After discovering this, I wanted to take this understanding and test it to its limits. My philosophy quickly became one that allowed me to undergo the most intensive workouts imaginable, but the entire time I would laugh and say to myself that I understood one simple fact:
The more I push myself through my perceived limitations and weaknesses, the stronger I will become because my body knows exactly how to repair the damage that I have done to it so that it can make itself stronger and more able to withstand heavier weights, more intensive workouts and whatever else I could physically put it through.
I had no idea how my body knew how to repair itself, all I knew is that it did. Every single time. And I came to trust that.
Eventually I started to think outside of what the body was able to accomplish. I wanted to next understand if this same principle would work for the mind, or the soul, so that I could produce better results in my life. And if this was possible, I wanted to understand how it was done.
If You Can Do It, It Makes You Stronger
The answer that I have found is that yes, this does work as a practical philosophy of life. Just like I discovered I could push my body to become bigger, stronger and faster, I found that I could use these same strategies and apply them to my life to achieve any result that I wanted to.
I quickly found that by subjecting myself to certain experiences in life and getting myself to accomplish them, I could basically get the same result.
A great analogy I have developed is this:
Life is a lot like trying to lift weights. There are certain times when I’d be lying down flat underneath the bench press, just about to try and lift an amount of weight heavier then I have ever attempted before. Sometimes I’d be able to lift it no problem and then I’d do it a few more times until my body gets used to it. Other times I can get the weight up but can’t really finish it; that’s no big deal because I’ve learned that even if you can’t finish what you’ve started, the limited amount of work you did will still make you stronger for your next attempt even if it doesn’t seem obvious to you right there in that moment. If I can’t lift it at all, then that tells me that I’m not yet ready to function at that level and further training is required.
Life works the same way. Sometimes we try things and even if they are hard, we can get through it. Then we repeat the process until what we are doing becomes easy to us, like second nature. Other times, things are challenging enough where we can’t do them easily but they still require a lot of effort and further dedication on our part until we can make it easy for us to do and repeat with less effort the more we try. Other times we try and try but we can’t seem to get anywhere which means that we have not yet developed the inner strength, skill and talent to accomplish what we have set ourselves out to do.
Most importantly, the difficulty in which we face doing something (whether it’s easy, hard or somewhere in-between) is a direct form of feedback. It’s telling us how easy or hard something is relative to our unique abilities, skills and talents in that moment. You should never become overly discouraged or even overly happy by how easy or hard something to do is. Instead, see it all as a form of feedback. And you know what they say – failure and success are feedback, and feedback is the breakfast of champions.
Chances are if you keep on doing things that are extremely easy for you, then you aren’t going to get much out of them over the long run. When something is to easy, it’s a form of feedback saying that we aren’t challenging ourselves enough to grow. Where growth is not present unhappiness isn’t very far away. Counter to this you can say that if you are continually trying something that is too hard for you to lift, or to do, then you should consider moving yourself over to something that is out of the “hard” range and more in the “medium” range until you can build up the strength you need. I hope you consider all of this with your goals as well. Sometimes buying that house or that car or starting that business is just in the “hard” range at the moment. Identify what is in the “medium” range and tackle that until you’ve developed yourself to the point where you can move into what was previously considered “hard” and try again.
Keep On Trying
Using those strategies that I have just outlined above should keep you busy for quite a long time. To take another chapter out of my personal experience, I can recommend that you don’t ever avoid things that seem too hard or too much for you to handle as those are often the things that you need to do right away. For years I used to do this until I learned that avoiding these things was actually the cause of why my energy was always so low and why I always felt so drained. The more you avoid these things, the weaker it actually makes you feel. Then you sit back and say to yourself, “Damn, I don’t have any energy to do that!”. It’s really because you’ve set up a bunch of vacuums in your energy field that are sucking you dry.
The universe is instead set up in such a way that you receive the greatest amounts of energy and fuel when you are doing those things that challenge and demand the most out of you. I know it doesn’t seem very rational, but it’s the way things work. And if you think about it, this is very rational because it’s the universe’s way of providing you with new and creative energy since the universe itself is nothing but a creative entity. When you are pushing yourself, being creative and trying to expand yourself by tackling problems larger then yourself, then you are commanding a certain type of spiritual energy that fills you up and floods you if you allow it to that will help you to overcome anything. This is because you are tapping into the essence of the universe – creativity – and drawing it for your own use.
I also like to view my mind as the memory in a computer. A certain type of memory called Random-Access-Memory, or RAM, is responsible for running programs and other things on a short term basis. When you open up new programs or a web-browsing session, it’s the job of RAM to provide the computer with enough memory to see that things get done smoothly and not slowly or with delay. I’m sure you’ve all had the pleasure of using a computer that was “slow” at one point or another in your life. The computer is slow because there are too many programs open that are demanding too much of the computer’s RAM. The human mind can work the same way. If you try to think about too many things at once (especially negative things) then you are effectively draining your own RAM, your own vital life energy until things become so slow they crawl to a sudden stop. Don’t let your life run this way. Viruses (which we can compare to certain negative thoughts and habits we have developed) can be picked up along the way and many times we don’t even know we have them. The only symptoms of their presence is a computer that behaves slower then usual or crashes more then usual and again this is because viruses are like parasites that leach RAM in the same way that certain negative habits and thoughts that we don’t even know we have such our energy dry until we too crash.
Instead, understand that the universe provides you more energy with tackling larger problems in life. When you get through these problems and difficult experiences, you become infused with intelligence and wisdom in the form of experience that is difficult to explain to others but all-so-real and certain to your own self. This still means that you need to keep track of your own energy and close down those programs and thoughts that don’t serve you and steal your RAM and your energy. With practice, you’ll eventually be able to direct your own energy and you will learn to fill yourself up by only doing those things that flood you with energy over time.
Just Do It
Just like with exercise and workouts, completing the workout and remaining alive will guarantee you that your body knows exactly how to rebuild itself and become stronger. This same rule works in your life with everything else. Get through it and you’ll be infused with the experience of knowing what to do and what not to do. You’ll figure out a way to get better at doing things with practice and repetition.